The 2 percent stamp duty rebate, which ends this month, largely fuelled demand for residential real estate in Kolkata, as per Knight Frank.
Registration of housing properties in Kolkata region fell 10 percent in December to 3,968 units but the numbers went up 64 percent in the last calendar year to nearly 45,000 units, according to Knight Frank. Registration of homes in December 2020 had stood at 4,422 units.
During the entire last year, as many as 44,940 units were registered, compared to 27,328 units in the 2020. The consultant noted that 56 percent of these units were registered since the introduction of the stamp duty cut in July 2021.
The registration data is for residential sales documents registered and included transactions in both the primary and the secondary market. "The 2 per cent stamp duty rebate has resuscitated Kolkata's residential real estate sector in the second half of the year as the city battled COVID-19 induced economic uncertainties," Knight Frank said in a statement.
Knight Frank India Chairman and Managing Director Shishir Baijal said the lower stamp duty regime ends this month. "The possible mobility restrictions due to rising Omicron virus cases will be a factor impacting the property registration activity in the first month of the new year," he added.
Also read: Mumbai, Kolkata home sales witnessing surge; see developers hiking price for premium projects: Knight Frank
On the higher registration number, Amit Goyal, CEO of India Sotheby's International Realty, said the reduction in the stamp duty by the West Bengal government last year, coupled with low home loan rates, all-time high equity markets and pent-up demand were the catalysts for increase in demand and transactions in Kolkata. "Not only in the affordable segment, we witnessed a significant rise of about 30 per cent in demand for high-end and luxury properties as well," Goyal said.
According to the Knight Frank data, the registration of apartments in sizes up to 500 square feet fell 32 percent to 11,268 units in 2021 compared with 16,688 units in the previous year. In the category of 500-1000 square feet, registration rose three times to 20,975 units from 6,787 units, while the registration of flats above 1,000 square feet jumped over three-fold to 12,697 units from 3,853 units.
The pandemic has nudged buyers towards bigger apartments across India and the same trend is playing out in Greater Kolkata as well. In the city, Knight Frank said the south micro-market garnered one-third share of the residential sales deed registrations in 2021, while north part of the city had 31 percent share of the total registrations.
Emami Realty MD and CEO Nitesh Kumar said: "There has been an increase in the registration of luxury properties and standalone homes in Kolkata. Kolkata experienced a significant increase in registration as a result of the extension of stamp duty and circle rate cuts.” Non-resident Indians are also investing in Kolkata, he said, and hoped the trend to continue in the future.